Headquartered in Tel Aviv and founded in 1936 — 12 years before the establishment of the State of Israel — as the Palestine Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) was originally made up of talented Jewish musicians forced to flee Europe because of the rise of Nazism. Two notable, long-time IPO conductors have been Leonard Bernstein and Zubin Mehta. Ever since Kristallnacht in November 1938, the orchestra has maintained a de facto ban on Wagner’s work due to that composer’s antisemitism and the association of his music with Nazi Germany.
Quote: “Re-named the IPO after the establishment of Israel in 1948, the orchestra has always acted as the country’s foremost cultural ambassador, carrying the joy of music and the message of peace from Israel to music lovers around the world. Zubin Mehta recalls that one of his most moving moments was when the IPO agreed to play in Germany in 1971 and he was able to conduct ‘Hatikvah,’ Israel’s national anthem, in the country that had unintentionally caused the establishment of the IPO through its persecution of Jews.”
Sources: Wikipedia (introduction), The Jewish Virtual Library (quotation)
Learn more about the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra on Wikipedia. ►
Watch “The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra” [6:03]. ►
Watch “Israel Philharmonic Orchestra – Itzhak Perlman — Beethoven — Egmont & 6th Symphony, 22.3.2010” [54:34]. ►
Listen to “Music from the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra” (six selections) ►
Photo: Israel Hayom
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